April 9, 2014

JuicedLink Unveils Little DARling, a Pocket-Sized Recorder for Discreet Audio Production

Robert Rozak is an audio hero, always sharing great information about audio production as well as creating quality products with which to execute that knowledge. This year he's revealing the Little DARling (Distributed Audio Recorder), a convenient pocket-sized recorder designed for wired lavs, enabling quality audio capture for live events and guerrilla filmmaking. Hit the jump to watch the interview from the NAB floor.

The Little DARling records a stereo signal to Micro SD cards and runs for 6-8 hours on a single AA battery. The best part is that the stereo signal is created with a duplicated and attenuated track at -16db as a backup in case things get too loud unexpectedly during recording. The only way to turn the recording off once it starts is by pressing a button with a pen through a recessed hole, so you won't have to worry about losing recordings when your subjects are moving around.

From the juicedLink blog (which you should all subscribed to):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z0WRUu0qpQ

Personally this is exactly the type of low-profile recorder I've been waiting for, and I can't wait to get my hands on one for narrative guerrilla filmmaking. Let us know what you think of the Little DARling, subscribe to the juicedLink blog to keep up to date on its release, and don't miss a beat from the floor at Vegas by checking out our NAB master post.

Link: Little DARling — JuicedLink

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NFS's coverage of NAB 2014 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel and Limelite. Subscribe to the No Film School YouTube channel for the latest video updates direct from NAB, as well as filmmaker interviews, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes features.

Your Comment

37 Comments

Will it come with its own lav mic? How much?

April 9, 2014 at 10:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dean shull

anything on it's sampling + bit depth?

Could see a few handy uses for it being such a cheap option, Especially no budgo jobs that you are shooting with DSLR's .

Would be cool to see a variable audio bracketing system where you can set the volume of the BU track yourself!

April 9, 2014 at 10:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Shayne

Excellent little recorder. I already envision uses. It can hide in a shirt pocket, a lav mic wire into a shirt pocket. :-)

April 9, 2014 at 11:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

I like Robert and JL....he's passionate about his work and products and you can always see that.

I have 2 words.....braided belt.

April 10, 2014 at 12:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tim

definitely interested. just waiting for price

April 10, 2014 at 1:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Listen Roberts a good guy but $200-$250 for this is way too much. If he's going to compare it to the very small Sony PCM-M10 he has to take into account what the M10 has , like mics, 15 hour run time, the cleanest preamps, limiter, a million settings and recording options, great level meter display, line in, mic in etc. and the M10 is only $200. I think he's pushing his profit margins to the extreme because this thing is probably costing him $50 to make if that.

Its got two things that that the M10 doesn't have: locking connector and audio bracketing. But if he's going to charge $200 to $250 I'll stick with the dependable M10. I can strain relief my cable on the m10 and I can turn on the limiter on the M10 and I still have great small recorder with mics.

Come on Robert only a small percentage are going to pay $200 for this thing. Drop it down to $125 and you'll get tons of orders, I'll say I would buy a half dozen of these at $125, at $200-$250, I'll stick with the 4 M10's i got.

April 10, 2014 at 2:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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SaraG

The Sony you are talking about is large. It could not be hidden in a shirt pocket. It would stick out the top of the pocket. Are you certain its buttons cannot be accidentally pushed? I am not. Are you certain its sound quality is as good as juicedLink? I know the from juicedLinks track record this item will be worth its cost and that Robert Rozak will be keeping the cost low as possible. I have not used that Sony. Does it make a back up recording?

I can understand if you are accustomed to using the Sony you don't want to make a change.

April 10, 2014 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

The sony has a lock button. The gain dial does not lock but a piece of tape fixes that. The m10 is not as small but its small enough to put in a pocket or to strap on like you would a wireless transmitter. Go over to taperssection forums and see that it is the go to recorder because it is very quiet. I seriously doubt that the Dar will beat the sony in low noise. Sony has a track record in audio recording too and the M10 as wells the m50 keep that tradition.
Its not about not wanting to change wow you are arrogant, its about price. All your arguments still don't explain why the thing costs as much as it does. Again at $225 Robert its a bust.

April 10, 2014 at 11:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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saraG

I really like Robert, he makes great products and very informative, but he is a salesman first so he knows to price things for as much as he can. Unfortunately many like a "Prestiges good", they feel if they paid more for a product it makes them better or more professional but if I'm paying out of my own pocket I want the best bang for my buck. For $240 these ain't it, I'd rather buy two H1s or a more professional product like an m10 and I'm sure for less than $40 can figure out a way to keep talent from pushing buttons.

April 10, 2014 at 5:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Peter Kent

Size does matter and making it smaller with the quality that comes from the mind of Robert Rozak will be worth a little more money. Nice things cost money.

I won't return your insult. Have a nice night. :-)

April 10, 2014 at 10:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Just to clarify:

If Sony made a recorder smaller with the same quality, and size as the juicedLink you may find the Sony would cost more than the juicedlink. And if juicedLink made the DARling larger, the size of the Sony, you may find it would cost less than the Sony.

April 10, 2014 at 10:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

I'm going to have to agree with SaraG on the price. I really like JuicedLink products; I own a Riggy Micro but I've also got a Sony PCM-M10 and the pre-amps in the M10 are just as clean as in the JuicedLink (and way better than in my Zoom H6 and waaaay better than in my Zoom H1).

If the price was closer to $100 than $200, I'd buy a load of these to put before wireless transmitters, giving me 100% protection against radio drop-outs and essentially infinite range. With the price closer (or even more than) $200, I'll stick to the increased feature set of the M10.

April 11, 2014 at 4:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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>>> If he’s going to compare it to the very small Sony PCM-M10 he has to take into account what the M10 has , like mics, 15 hour run time, the cleanest preamps, limiter, a million settings and recording options, great level meter display, line in, mic in etc. and the M10 is only $200

The Sony PCM-M10 is a great little recorder, but it does not have great mic preamps. At the lowest setting the noise-floor is -75 dB RMS, but at the highest setting the noise-floor rises to -49 dB RMS, and you can clearly hear the resulting hiss.

I use this recorder for LINE level input, which stays at -75 dB RMS throughout it's whole gain range, but I will only use it for mics if I'm desperate. Both the Olympus LS-12 or Tascam-DR40 recorders cost less and perform better than the Sony PCM-M10 for MIC level inputs. ( Tascam-D40 also gets a little noisy at maximum gain, but not as bad as the Sony PCM-M10 )

I will probably buy one of these JuicedLink mini-recorders when they are available just to see how they compare. I like the tiny size and the locking mic connector, though I want to see how the preamps perform.

April 10, 2014 at 8:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Guy McLoughlin

Unity gain on the M10s is around 4o 5 on the dial. Why are you setting the level full up that high up? Everything past 6 on the dial just red lines. Maybe its the mics you're using not the recorder.

April 10, 2014 at 8:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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saraG

When I test a new recorder I want to know how noisy it is, and how much of the built-in audio is actually usable. With the Sony PCM-M10 only about half the gain-range is what I would call usable, beyond this point it becomes too noisy. With other recorders, like the Olympus LS-12, the entire audio gain range is usable. ( the LS-12 maintains a noise-floor of -70 dB RMS or better throughout it's entire gain range, while the PCM-M10 rises to -49 dB RMS which is extremely noisy )

When I bought the Sony PCM-M10 I was expecting the same kind of MIC level performance that I am seeing with the Olympus LS-12 or the Tascam DR-40, and was very disappointed when it proved to be a lot worse.

For LINE level audio input the Sony M10 is great, for MIC level inputs it's not very good.

April 11, 2014 at 6:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Guy McLoughlin

One would have to question the quality of a product that becomes useless after 5.

April 12, 2014 at 3:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Yeah, I agree with you.
I think this DARling could be very atractive if it was the same product with same price BUT with a simple BlueTooth interface for an cellphone control.

April 11, 2014 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Theuer

$200-240?! Why would he price it against a Sony PCM-m10 when he compares it to a Zoom H1? I was hoping a little under $100, while it still seems like a good idea that price point will keep me away; there's a reason I (and most) bought H1s and not m10s...

April 10, 2014 at 2:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Peter Kent

In a video where he talks to a Spanish speaker he does say 200 to 240 dollar. He can probably charge more than the price of a zoom h1, because it is better for the use case he presents, but I know I will not pay that much unless I have a serious budget. I guess the product is niche enough that it does not make sense to sell it for less though.

April 10, 2014 at 2:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Arum

Nope.

April 10, 2014 at 4:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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P337

That's right.

That's a very specific niche product and needs to be priced accordingly. 200-240$ seems reasonable to me. Maybe too high for the occasional DSLR shooter but almost peanuts for sound guys and professional shooters.

April 10, 2014 at 6:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Álex Montoya

I am very happy about this product. Nice things cost money. And it's not that high priced. :-)

April 10, 2014 at 8:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Lol, this product is for the "DSLR shooter", all the professional audio engineers I know would rather have a lot more control and far more gear. Robert pretty much said this is for the H1 crowd that want a little more autonomy with their audio but is it worth over twice the cost? You don't need this, it just makes it a little easier than using wireless belt packs or pocketable portible recorders. It's not niche, it's opportunistic.

April 10, 2014 at 8:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Peter Kent

Exactly. I think he's throwing out the highest number he knows he can get away with. Totally unreasonable if you're comparing it to the M10.

April 10, 2014 at 12:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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saraG

What about connecting a lavalier mic to an iPhone?

Has the iPhone decent preamps and sampling?

Thanks?

April 10, 2014 at 4:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Orange shirt

April 10, 2014 at 10:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe

you know, once in a while i'd like to read about a product you can actually buy right now. i'm not cracking on NFS, i'm a big fan. this is just a weary observation from someone who has spent a week trying to find a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer ... (not ready, waiting list, go to kickstarter, shippingmaybein august, etc etc etc etc).

usually, when i'm shopping for something for my production company, i need it NOW ... not in five months. that's why i'm shopping for it. i understand of course that companies have to hype the launch of a product -- but just once: i'd like to read about something i can actually get my hands on ... without having to seed a start-up, or wait two calendar quarters, or hope the product makes it off the drawing board. do they still have drawing boards ? if they do, and they're in stock, i'll buy one. i have to buy something.

April 10, 2014 at 10:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sjk

So you're saying you wish NFS would wait til after the product is available for purchase to report on it? If you want to shop for products you can purchase right now, don't come to NFS, go to B&H!

April 10, 2014 at 11:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JT

i didn't say that ... read my post again. i'm just saying it's frustrating sometimes when you're looking for lights, stabilizers ... anything ... all the great, enticing stuff you read about is never actually available. it's not a crack on NFS ... more like a comment on marketing and economics.
once, it would be nice to see someone roll out a product, and instead of waiting half a year for a bug-filled beta, have the rep say: 'here it is, and we've got a warehouse full of them ready to ship tomorrow ... '

like i said ... go out there and try and get your hands on a new gimbal stabilizer inside of three months. impossible.

April 10, 2014 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sjk

NAB is going on, so everyone's announcing products.

April 10, 2014 at 4:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Colin

I like the idea of this, but I'm not sure if I could handle the stress of not being able to monitor my mics - knowing they're all just out there on people with no way to check they're actually recording audio.

April 10, 2014 at 3:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Clayton Arnall

i hear ya, no pun intended. who hasn't plugged a card in or reviewed shoot tapes and there is missing or buggered up audio ... you just want to head for the nearest window.

April 10, 2014 at 4:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sjk

The real info is still missing:

does it feature timecode?
How maintain sync if it does not?
can u extend battery life by using a Lithium AA Battery?
which file/audio format? sampling rates?

which kind of Mic connector? Sennheiser G3? Lectro TA5? Sennheiser/Zaxcom Lemo?

Price is very good, if the little thing does what it is supposed to do: Record faultless until it is set to STOP.
We used Zaxcom ZFR 100 units for adventure stuff, those are designed for exactly that pupose and their price range starts from $ 1000

Axel

April 10, 2014 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Why is there someone who complains about the price of every single product featured on this site?

Just don't buy it.

April 11, 2014 at 1:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Adam

I am also wondering about price complaints. People get what they pay for. There's reasons this little recorder is over $200.00. I know it will be made with only highest quality in mind. I have to hear actual comparison of sound quality with not only audio equipment of the same price but also with equipment at the price some in these comments say it should be at before I will jump to the conclusion it is overpriced. Because of the size of this little recorder I already see uses for it. I don't think there will be anything at this size that will be better than a juicedLink. You get what you pay for.

April 11, 2014 at 7:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

When can I buy it ??

April 23, 2014 at 6:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Quentin

Apparently late Summer.

July 25, 2014 at 9:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Micah Van Hove
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